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Western sanctions to boost Russia’s partnership with Beijing — Chinese official

January 23, 2015, 12:08 UTC+3 BEIJING

The vice chairman of China’s Banking Regulatory Commission says China’s financial sphere will be able to provide the necessary aid to expand investments in the Russian-Chinese trade

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© ITAR-TASS/Mikhail Klimentyev

BEIJING, January 23. /TASS/. The West’s anti-Russian sanctions may give an impetus to the Russian-Chinese business cooperation, including in the financial sphere, a senior Chinese official told journalists.

“Russia and China have already become very important trade and economic partners. Both countries have high complementarity in their economic structures, especially in the sphere of energy resources,”Wang Zhaoxing, a vice chairman of China’s Banking Regulatory Commission, said Friday.

The sanctions, imposed by the Western countries on Russia amid the Ukrainian crisis, will probably create some “temporary difficulties” for Moscow in the economic sphere, but “they cannot affect the development of the trade and economic cooperation between Russia and China,” he said.

“On the contrary, these sanctions can open a very huge space for the Russian-Chinese trade and economic cooperation,” the official said, noting that the two countries have big opportunities for developing cooperation, namely in the spheres of investment and energy resources.

“I am convinced that China’s financial sphere will be able to further enhance support for the cooperation with Russia and provide the necessary aid to expand investments in the Russian-Chinese trade,” he said.

Russia and China recently achieved a significant boost in their bilateral relations, primarily in the economic, energy, space and scientific as well as military spheres.

One of the milestone deals between the countries was signed during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to China last May and it was an agreement on the Russian natural gas supplies to China.

Russian energy giant Gazprom and China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) signed a 30-year contract on Russian natural gas supplies to China via the eastern route worth a total of $400 billion.

Over the past few years, the two countries have noticeably increased the intensity of their contacts. China has become Russia’s major trade partner while Russia is in the top ten of China’s main trade partners. In 2002-2013, bilateral trade hiked from $12 billion to $89.2 billion.

Russia and China are planning to bring their bilateral trade turnover to $100 billion by 2015 and to $200 billion by 2020.

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